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3 Ways I’ve Grown My Business Using PR
Learn 3 ways that I have grown THEPRBAR inc. using PR and how you can apply them to your own business.
You can listen to the Pitchin’ and Sippin’ Podcast episode on this subject here.
Post Written by THEPRBAR inc. Founder Lexie Smith
While I’ve been doing PR and marketing for more than 11 years now, 2020 marked my first year of full-time entrepreneurship with THEPRBAR inc. Before we dive into tangible tactics I’ve used to grow my business over the past couple of years, I want to give you a bit of backstory and context about the ideation and creation of THEPRBAR inc.
It’s worth noting that I did not always know that I wanted to be an entrepreneur. In fact, if you asked me in 5th grade what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have answered “an award-winning actress in Hollywood”. I actually wrote an article about that time in my life; you can read it here.
By the time I entered college, I started down the path of broadcast journalism and PR (something that felt a tad more realistic at that point in time.) It wasn’t until I entered the workforce that I realized my true end goal was to create and own something of my own. In hindsight, there were obvious indications of entrepreneurship being a natural fit growing up – I was a frequent Lemonade Stand CEO & Connoisseur; I loved to invent (and sell) new products; I was involved in anything and everything leadership-based; and to be frank, I really did like to get my way.
In my journey to understand my desired end game, I worked with and for a wide variety of companies across a diverse range of industries – fashion, hospitality, lifestyle, tech, telecom, telehealth, etc. I am also fortunate enough to be surrounded by a family of business owners – my dad owns a construction company, my sister owns a hair salon, and my husband works for a now 4th generation family-owned manufacturing company. All in all, I have seen behind the scenes of a lot of different types of businesses.
Due to this good fortune, I was very intentional and clear in the “type” of business I wanted to create when “my time came”. Specifically, I wanted to create a virtual service-based business that sustained me, my family, and my lifestyle. Beyond that, I wasn’t exactly sure of what I was going to create. Fast forward and in 2019, while serving as a VP of PR, Marketing & Business Development at an Inc. 5000 company, I experienced a major health event that told me it was time to take the leap into entrepreneurship.
In this moment, I took a look back at my career thus far, added in a good dose of “soul-searching”, and identified what I both loved and was GOOD at doing. Thankfully, or fatefully, this matched up with the business model I wanted to create.
Sprinkle in some fun and punny branding, and THEPRBAR inc. concept was born.
The short about byline of THEPRBAR inc. is “an online coaching platform and resource hub built to help motivated entrepreneurs and professionals expand their impact, influence, and revenue through relationship-driven marketing and PR.”
In other words, I work with entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, start-ups, founders, and their teams to help them make more money with PR.
Here are a final few context notes before we dive in. Halfway through year 2 of my business (2021), I became a six-figure business owner. This was accomplished through 100% organic marketing and PR – I have spent zero dollars on advertising.
I am going to review 3 ways I’ve grown my business using PR.
1st Technique: Authentic, Long-Game Networking:
Showing up in rooms – virtual and/or otherwise – across different communities, and forming genuine connections, has been huge for my business. Whether it be providing free value or scheduling a virtual coffee chat just to get to know someone better, the more I tend to my network, the more I see my net worth grow. And since these tactics are relationship-based, they do in fact qualify as “doing PR”.
Something I challenge my clients to do – depending on their goals – is to schedule at least one new virtual coffee chat a month and attend one new targeted event. The goal of these efforts is purely network expansion-based. These aren’t hop on and sell yourself opportunities; although sometimes someone will ask what you do and that can occur naturally, it’s more so targeted at the long game.
While entrepreneurs are often more eager to focus primarily on tactics that produce immediate revenue or have a short return, the reality is that long-game network expansion is vital to the growth and longevity of a business. Best-case scenario, your efforts from 6-months ago will begin to catch up and produce organic opportunities (and referrals) with ease.
2nd Technique: Thought Leadership Development:
I have put a lot of time and effort into educating and sharing my unique point of view as it relates to PR. I write bylines for third-party outlets, speak at a variety of conferences and events, and have spent a lot of time developing my owned media channels – such as the Pitchin’ and Sippin’ Podcast. This not only helps to expand my reach, but it comes especially handy when solidifying my credibility and authority – both components that are critical in the sales process. Sometimes these efforts generate direct leads – for example, an article I wrote for Create & Cultivate still brings in leads to this day – and other times, it serves as a searchable digital footprint for when potential clients vet or research me.
3rd Technique: Leading Workshops and Outside Community Activation:
From intimate masterminds to larger industry conferences to community event series, if there is a relevant opportunity for me to teach or lead a workshop, I will do my best to be there. While personal community development is great and important (I self-host workshops quarterly as well), one of the fastest ways to grow your own community is by tapping into someone else’s. Now, that is not to say you’re taking advantage of their hard work; it’s important you bring something to the table of true value, and that’s where workshops come in. Some of the workshops that I have done have been turned into purchasable paid offers for the communities. Some of them I receive affiliate commissions for, others I don’t, but either way, it works out in my favor because the more people who can see me teach, the wider my brand awareness and expertise spreads.
All three of these tactics generate what we can call “top of funnel awareness”. Once someone has entered the top of my funnel, they have officially been introduced into my world and community. From there, it’s on me to nurture and convert (although note that technique 2 helps in this process as well.)
I have grown my business 100% through organic marketing and PR tactics. These tactics include:
- Networking + Authentic Community Relations
- Thought Leadership Development
- Leading Workshops & Outside Community Activation
Heading into year 3 of my business, these tactics have also enabled me to already have secured revenue and clients through year’s end. If you are interested in learning more about how we might be able to work together 1:1 to develop your brand or business’s personal growth strategy, you can explore THEPRBAR inc.’s Bar Menu (Services) here or book a free consultation here.